Orval E. Brenneman was born May 26, 1930, the son of Emery and Alice (Bender) Brenneman. He attended Franklin rural school and graduated from Iowa Mennonite School. Orval spent two years in voluntary service in La Junta, Colo., where he met the love of his life. On Aug. 21, 1955, Orval was united in marriage to Norma Jean Showalter at the Mennonite Church of La Junta. They made their home in rural Wellman in the home where Orval was born. He farmed and was a department manager at Sears for more than 30 years, retiring in 1996. Orval was a member of the First Mennonite Church of Iowa City, where he served on various committees. He volunteered at the Iowa MCC Sale and at Iowa Mennonite School. Orval enjoyed being with family and friends, playing with the grandchildren and reading the morning paper, and was an avid reader of history. Orval passed away on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018, at the Pleasantview Home in Kalona at the age of 88 years.
Orval is survived by his wife, Norma Jean of Wellman; son, Robert (Kim) Brenneman of Harrisonburg, Va., and their children, Jeremy and Rachael Brenneman; son, Jerold (Shelly) Brenneman of Viroqua, Wis., and their children, Ansel and Finn Brenneman; daughter, Ruth Ann (Galen Graber) Brenneman of Wellman and their children, Natalie and Mia Graber; and a sister, Nina B. Miller of Wellman. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother and sister-in-law, Willard and Ruth Brenneman; sister and brother-in-law, LaFern and Ray Yoder; and a brother-in-law, Paul Miller.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018, at the First Mennonite Church in Iowa City. The family will greet friends following the service. Burial will be in West Union Cemetery. A memorial fund has been established for Iowa Mennonite School and First Mennonite Church, Iowa City.